Friday, April 6, 2007

Gardening = Personal Finances

As we start working on getting our garden ready this year, I am seeing a lot of parallels with our personal finances. Here's a list of what I've seen so far, I'm betting there are a whole lot more:
  1. Picking seeds like you pick goals for your finances (eg: wanting to have fresh tomatoes during the summer, just like wanting to retire comfortably).
  2. Emotionally wanting the results NOW, not having to wait for them. I've had that feeling with future goals in retirement and gardening.
  3. Remove all the weeds from the yard before starting. This also applies to cleaning out your finances as well, resolving any items that don't cost money to take care of (eg: canceling services you don't need to live).
  4. Put down a good manure to help your plants grow. In personal finances, this means making sure your income is where it needs to be to get your finances turned around.
  5. Planting at the right time so that they don't get frost-bitten. This goes back to needing patience, but also comes about knowledge of when to plant. In the same way, you need to grow your knowledge of personal finances in order to handle things at the right time.
  6. Water and care for the plants constantly. Your finances won't go anywhere if you ignore them for weeks at a time, such as making a budget and then ignoring it.
  7. Picking the results when they are ready. This goes back to patience, but also points to recognizing when you reach your goals. We do this by posting them up on our wall to remind us of what we've done with God's help.
I always wondered why my plants never grew well, these items have helped me see better why they have not. Hopefully this year I will be dedicated to our garden and use the lessons I've learned from personal finance as well.

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